I have a confession to make.
I’m scared of my kids.
Not like, boo, creepy scared.
More just scared of the unknown. Scared of things being out of control. Scared of tantrums. Scared of meltdowns. Scared of getting ourselves into a situation that I can’t get us out of.
Sometimes it is physical concerns. What if my puny arms can’t actually get the stroller onto the bus?
Sometimes it is adult stuff. What if I get us lost? What if I can’t get my credit card to work? What if I can’t use my phone?
Sometimes it is emotional. What if they lose their minds? What if *I* lose it?
Even when things are going well and the kids are being completely fine, I’m scared that things are about to go off the rails any moment.
I don’t love it. But a lot of the time, that is how I feel.
Some of this is getting better with time. They are getting older. I’m getting more experience.
Sometimes I like to help the process along.
By putting us into deliberately challenging situations. Maybe “challenging” isn’t the right word. Think things that are outside of our comfort zone.
Scared of navigating with the kids? Let’s take the bus across town together.
Scared of kids melting down? Let’s spend time together in a new cafe.
So when James had the opportunity to head to Malta, I jumped at the chance to join.
He was definitely hesitant. I would be on my own. For most of the days. All the time. With the kiddos. By myself. Did I really want that?
I did, and I’ll tell you why. This was a chance to practice some serious adulting. Yes, in a foreign country, but it was one I’ve been to before. Also, one where they speak English, use the Euro, and have excellent public transportation.
We definitely did stuff. I took the kids on a 1.5 hour boat ride.
I took the kids to Playmobil in a taxi.
On our biggest day, I took the kids on a 45 minute bus ride to the aquarium, took another bus to a movie theater, and then went to a restaurant.
Some of this was definitely stressful. Such as Henry opening the taxi door WHILE THE CAR WAS IN MOTION on the way to Playmobil. Or my paranoia that the kids would fall into the harbor at any moment.
But it was also fun. And it definitely wasn’t the end of the world.
We survived, and it made other things less scary.
Later in the week, when we took a ten minute ferry ride across the harbor, it didn’t even phase me. No sweat. No hesitation.
This approach isn’t for everyone. I’m definitely not running around looking for constant opportunities to make myself uncomfortable.
But sometimes. Every now and then. I try to throw myself in the deep end. It usually works out just fine. And it certainly makes the rest of the pool less scary.